Some of you may have picked up on the fact that I didn’t post my Sunday afternoon/evening’s scheduled instalment of my Fantasy story…..
Well better late than never, here is the next part.
If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:
Part Seventeen – The Memory of a Mother
The council, or great assembly, turned to the more mundane matters of the day-to-day running of the Red Magehood’s enormous Empire and the people under their protection. Meanwhile, a speeded courier arrived at the southern gate. Night had fallen and so the great gates to the City of Solarys had been closed and locked. The courier handed a golden disc to the Gatekeeper who examined it closely. The keeper then commanded the gates be opened and the courier rode on through the deserted streets of Solarys, the Citadel of the Sun. The courier headed northwards towards the Fortress of the Red Magehood on the great fire mountain that overlooked the city. Most of the city was built on the flat plateau lavas that had once poured from the volcano long before the area became inhabited. The Fire Mountain itself had been dormant for over a thousand years, but it remained an important feature in the life of its citizens providing hot water springs and creating an inexhaustible energy supply for the city. The courier arrived at the gates of the fortress and flashed his gold disc once more. Within moments he was ushered into the great chamber. He had orders that this letter could only be surrendered into the hands of either Sorceress Magda Rubicunda or those of the High Sorcerer himself. It was a message of the greatest importance.
As the courier made his way through the throng of Mages in their grand robes towards the commanding figure of the Sorceress who was the preferred target of his message the High Sorcerer rose from his Dragon Throne and spoke in a voice dripping with command.
“Bring that message to me.” The courier was compelled to obey.
Tiberius Dinantius began reading the message slowly and carefully to himself. The whole chamber, which had been murmuring and chattering, fell into a morbid and melancholic silence. The kind of silence that seemed incredibly loud and heavy.
Eventually the High Sorcerer broke that bonecrushing silence.
“It seems your trustworthy source in Argor had some more interesting news for us Magda. The High-Mage Angstrom writes that another person has come to him for teaching. This new apprentice also has an amazing potential but one that has already begun to manifest. She has remarkable talents apparently. It is non other than the Governor or Argor’s daughter herself. Her name is Lara Boadrah and it appears her birth date coincides with the date of the prophecy precisely.”
The deafening silence was replaced by an eruption of sound. A whisper creates a cacophony of sound when multiplied by practically every person within that chamber.
A small woman stood up from one of the Sorcerer thrones. Sorceress Rachella Ashe may have been a diminutive figure but she had a presence that far exceeded her stature. Her flame red hair and flashing bright green eyes proclaimed her magical abilities and her connection to the Fay-folk, those legendary fairy beings who, through interbreeding with humans, had died out. The Fay-folk’s genetics lived on among Mage circles and it was apparent that their blood flowed strongly within this woman’s veins. She was the Sorcerer in charge of the Healers and was renown for her toughness and courage. She often personally led an army of Healers through battlefields in order to prevent innocent civilians being harmed. Her voice, a crystal clear, high-toned soprano, rang out across the chamber.
“I knew Lara’s mother. She was a very powerful Mage, a healer of both body and mind. She was sent to lead an expedition to Re’aldorin at the time of that gruesome civil war. She went to the City of Argor to help stabilise that region and she fell in Love with a minor noble who had been trying to restore order. She married him. That man became the Governor after the old regime was toppled. Lara was born shortly afterwards but unfortunately her Mother died before she’d even turned one years old. Her name was Soraya and she was a very dear friend of mine, the memory of her is still strong. She has a sister who is also in my order, Leandra Etanrys. It may be necessary to send her to Argor to bring this girl here for formal training and education. I believe she knows little about her heritage. She may, or may not be the Child of Prophecy but either way she will be a great asset to us. She should be here so we can guide and support her. ”
The High Sorcerer interjected “Unfortunately, Rachella, Angstrom writes that her father despaired of her desire to become a Mage and has sent her away to the District of Albana, where I am sure you know, Magic is forbidden on pain of death. I don’t have to remind you of the so-called Keepers of Peace? They can trace and capture Mages, rendering their powers useless. How many of our brothers and sisters were tortured and murdered at their hands during that terrible conflict? How many since that Red Army took over that Land? No, I believe we must have a more subtle operation. I agree we must send someone to fetch her here, someone with tremendous talents for disguise and subterfuge. Sorcerer Ixtar, I believe you have the right skills we need, are you willing to undertake this crucial operation personally?”
Markus Ixtar was the Red Magehood’s Spymaster-General. He controlled a vast network of spies and operatives. Born a mute, he was incapable of direct speech but he could communicate using telepathy and, of course, his Aura of light. Markus Ixtar stood and bowed to the assembly and his telepathic voice echoed around the chamber stating that he would be happy to carry out this delicate operation. His aura indicated he was eager to do so.
End of Part Seventeen
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 16/July/2018